Thanks to whoever requested this on my Facebook Fan page - because this is amazing. Whenever I was craving some Mac & Cheese, I always went the easy way. I either bought Road's End Mac & Cheese or I bought Teese's Cheddar Sauce. Those are really great options, but if you have the time to make an old fashion Baked Mac & Cheese - you've gotta try this recipe!
Growing up, I never had any real home made macaroni and cheese. Always that stuff from the blue box (If my parents were feeling like spending a few extra pennies - otherwise it was the cheaper store brand variety). Though when I got older and started admiring the home made baked version of Mac and Cheese - I always wanted to give it a try! It took me long enough, but I finally gave it a go. And I'm so glad I did!
You can use any small shaped pasta you like. You could use the classic elbow shape, even rotini or penne would work really well in this recipe!
- 16oz small shaped pasta
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance Spread or oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 slices of toasted bread
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In your food processor - grind the cashews until it becomes a powder-like consistency. Don't grind it too long or you'll be making Cashew Butter! Next add in the yeast, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Pulse to blend the ingredients. Then stream in the one cup of milk. Next add in the corn starch, Earth Balance/Oil, lemon juice, turmeric, tahini, and black pepper. Blend just long enough to combine the ingredients.
Transfer the cheese sauce to a pot to simmer on the stove. Simmer over medium low heat and stir almost constantly until your cheese sauce thickens. It will thicken after about 5 minutes. If it's not thickening - try adding 1 tbsp more cornstarch. Once thick - remove from heat.
Once the pasta is done cooking - drain and transfer to a greased baking dish. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix until all of the pasta is coated.
Rinse out your food processor and grind together the toasted bread, basil, oregano, parsley and 1 tbsp oil to create your own bread crumbs! You can use your own if you want to skip this part. It's about 1/4-1/3 cup bread crumbs. Top the pasta and sauce with the breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool before serving!